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Summer Read-a-Thon

I was invited to join the blog, Seasons of Reading's "High Summer Read-a-Thon." It's not a contest, but an inspiration to read.

A quote from the event's organizer, Michelle, True Book Addict:
"I hope you're ready to take a much needed break from your summer whirlwind, jump in the hammock and get some good reading in. I know I am!"

The official dates are July 20th through the 26th. Sign up at the Seasons of Reading blog here:

Hope you will join us, and read! 

Up first on my TBR is "Ugly Love" by Colleen Hoover. This New Adult book is one of Hoover's newest and has gotten lots of love from readers. I enjoyed the last book I read by this author, "Maybe Someday." Hoover writes 3-D characters that her readers get emotionally invested in.

I've read some negative reviews of Ugly Love, but they haven't deterred me. If anything, they've made more curious to read the book and see if I will like it.


Ugly Love

I finished this Wednesday. Here's my thoughts:

Tate is a 23 year-old nurse who moves into her older brother's apartment in San Diego to finish up a Master's degree in nursing. 24-year old pilot, Miles Archer is her brother's neighbor. He conveniently lives right across the hallway. I loved the way we are introduced to Miles—the day Tate moves in, he's stone cold drunk in front of the apartment door, making it impossible for Tate to get inside. A great opener!

Immediately we know, Miles is a damaged soul, but Hoover makes us fall in love with him. And, of course, we want Tate to heal his broken heart.

The story is told from dual-POVs, mostly Tate's, and I started this book immediately engaged in the storyline, but there is so much repetitiveness in Tate's thoughts and actions, it made me fall out of love with the writing

Despite the repetitiveness, Ugly Love did have some great moments. The flirtation between Miles and Tate smolders. Hoover writes steamy love scenes without making them feel like porn. No slang or rude body part names. I appreciate that. Because, hey, if I wanted to read about raunchy, detailed sex, I'd be reading erotica!

I couldn't wait for Miles and Tate to get together, which I didn't have to wait too long for, but the hooking up comes with rules.

Never ask about the past. 
Don’t expect a future.

Though Tate would like a more conventional relationship, she accepts the rules, and they embark on a sex-only exchange. The story is mainly about their sexual relationship, and Miles frankly, treats Tate like a dishtowel, calling on her whenever he wants sex. Worse, she accepts her dishtowel fate, placating Miles in his attempt to avoid having any tangible feelings for her. I so wanted Tate to rebel—to have some self-respect. She does eventually, but in my opinion, it comes too late in the game.

What didn't work so well for me was the way Hoover switched to Miles' backstory POV every few chapters.
It was supposed to be serious and tell us how 17-year old Miles became 
so damaged that he didn't want to 
love again, 
but the text was centered, and
had words that got larger and were bolded and 
in different directions, 
and felt silly instead of dramatic. I felt like I was reading a 
Colleen Hoover is on the rise. With a growing repertoire of novels, she has garnered a horde of avid fans. Ugly Love is her 8th book.  I fear I set my expectations too high for this one, and it just didn't affect me the way I had hoped, nor leave me with a book hangover. 

Update: Congrats to Colleen Hoover. Ugly Love is being made into a movie. An author's dream! Here's the link for the trailer: movie version of Ugly Love. I'm interested in seeing if the screen writers can add an element to the story that I felt the book was missing. 

Diary of a Christian Woman: How I used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage

Thursday: The next book on my TBR is a book by RRBC author (Rave Reviews Book Club) Rebecca Reilly. I highlighted Rebecca and her books in a previous post. In blogging about her, I became interesting in reading her book, "Diary of a Christian Woman: How I used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage."

As part of the club's goals are to read and support other member's work, I happily purchased a copy of this. I was intrigued because I'm been married twenty-something years and have read "Fifty Shades."

I started the book this morning and finished in 2 hours. It's only 130 pages, but it was entertaining and reads really fast.

This is a book about how Phoebe, a 39-year old woman, rediscovers pride in her body and learns to bring intimacy into her routine, and sexually dried-up 19-year marriage.

While I am Christian and spiritual, I'm not devout in my practices. The title "Diary of Christian Woman…" might scare off some lesser religious readers. Yes, Phoebe is a God-fearing, gentle woman, but it's my strong opinion that any woman, married with children, will immediately connect with Phoebe and her struggles. 

Some quotes that resonated with me:

No one tells you before you get married how much work that sex requires.

Erotic power flows out of a woman when she believes she looks sexy.


… it is difficult to be sexually carefree with your children only a room away.

Reilly deals with a taboo subject with lots of laugh-out-loud humor and grace. At times I was just as frustrated with Phoebe's husband, George and her circumstances, as she was, because the book contains a great many truths—life tires you out, and most couples are not intimate enough to share their fantasies.

For those aware the spark is missing from their marriages, this book gives not only hope, but offers the reader a bit of guidance in how to go about starting to remedy it.

Quick, easy read that I highly recommend.

A Virtuous Woman

I started A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons, but wasn't able to finish it by the end of the read-a-thon, and am still reading it. 

A few years back, I read "Ellen Foster," also written by Gibbons, and really enjoyed her writing style. I am already liking the character building in this one and sure I will be done with it soon. 

Post wrap-up

Even though I was only able to read two books and start a third, I call this a success because during the read-a-thon, I wasn't able to only kick back and read. I still had to go to work and do summer stuff, like go to backyard parties and spend time with family and friends. Despite the day-to-day distractions (as I enjoy the people in my life, I use the term 'distractions' loosely), I found time to pick up a book and read, and I love reading, so it's all good!


  1. I hope the negative reviews aren't right...I always ignore them when I really want to read a book!

  2. I'm glad you'll be reading along with us, in addition to donating an awesome prize. ;) Thanks for joining in and I hope you enjoy your reading week!

  3. Sounds like a successful read-a-thon to me. Glad you joined in.

  4. Quite a reading accomplishment in a week's time when life also has its agenda. Great job! Thanks so much for joining us and again, for the prize donation. Hope you will join us again for another read-a-thon. Next one is in October. :)

    I'm working on the giveaway winners. Stay tuned!


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